The Commission for the Coordination of Nuclear Fusion Research in Austria (KKKÖ) was founded on 25 April 1980 and established at the OeAW. The primary goals were to provide consultation to the government in all relevant matters, the coordination of Austrian research activities in this sector and to provide information both in a broad sense and specifically for Austrian industry. Following Austria’s accession to the European Union the KKKÖ laid the foundations for the association contract between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the European Commission, which was first signed on 15 November 1996. In the framework of the association EURATOM–OeAW research activities on nuclear fusion were bundled and focused on European goals. In 1999 the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) came into effect; it regulated the cooperation between the EURATOM associations and the collective operation of the experimental JET plant (Culham, UK) until late 2013.

In early 2013 EFDA published a roadmap for the realisation of fusion energy that assessed the use of the ITER fusion research facility (currently under construction in Cadarache in southern France) and prioritised the plans for the DEMO demonstration facility. When the EU framework project for research and innovation “Horizon 2020” begins in January 2014, the European fusion research programme will be continued in the framework of a European Joint Programme Cofund Action by the EUROfusion consortium, a merger of all European fusion research laboratories. The BMWFW commissioned the OeAW to continue its coordination of the Austrian fusion research activities as the partner organisation of this EUROfusion consortium. Along with its original functions in the field of information, since 2014 the KKKÖ has supported dissertations related to fusion at Austrian universities by providing matching grants for projects funded by EUROfusion.

Information on the Austrian fusion research programme: www.oeaw.ac.at/fusion/